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Carey  MoWilliams 



The  Book  of  Jade 



At  the  Sign  of  the  Lark 
New  York 

Doxey's  1901 

This  edition  is  limited  to  six  hundred  copies, 
of  which  this  is  No.  <Jk .  O-O 



To  the  Memory 

Charles  Baudelaire 






Ashtoreth 19 

Parfait  Amour 20 

Opium 22 

Sombre  Sonnet 23 

Languor 24 

Ennui 25 

Litany 26 

Harvard 28 

Pride 29 

Song  of  Golden  Youth 30 

Mais  Moi  Je  Vis  La  Vie  En  Rouge 32 

Louanges  D'Elle 34 

Helas 35 

Sonnet 36 

Sonnet 37 



Rondeau 38 

Autumn  Song 39 

Ballad 40 

Changelessness 42 

Madonna 43 

Poppy  Song 44 

Consolation 47 

Liebes-Tod 48 

Evening  Song « 50 

Song  of  the  Stars  in  Praise  of  Her 52 

Aubade 54 

Remember 56 

Song 57 

Song 58 

Constancy 59 

Requiem 60 

Autumn  Burial 62 

Sonnet  of  Burial 64 

Nocturne 65 





Mad  Sonnet 75 

The  House  of  Youth 76 

De  Profundis 78 

Prayer 80 

Sestettes 82 

Sonnet  of  the  Instruments  of  Death 85 

Truth 86 

Hegel 87 

Monotony 88 

Sepulture 89 

Misenimus 90 

Scorn 91 

The  Grave 92 

Mummy 94 

Sepulchral  Life 95 




Corpse 96 

Mankind 97 

The  Defilers 98 

The  Grotesques 99 

Dead  Dialogue 103 

Fragments 108 

Envoi 117 


Dedication 129 



/  am  a  little  tired  of  all  things  mortal; 

I  see  through  half-shut  eyelids  languorous 

The  old  monotonous 

Gold  sun  set  slowly  through  the  western  portal, 

Where  I  recline  upon  my  deep  diwan, 

In  Ispahan. 

I  am  a  little  weary  of  the  Persian 

Girl  that  I  lov'd;  I  am  quite  tir'd  of  love; 

And  I  am  weary  of 

The  smoking  censers,  and  the  sweet  diversion 

Of  stroking  Leila's  jasmine-scented  hair, 

I  thought  so  fair. 

At  last  I  think  I  am  quite  tired  of  beauty; 

Why  do  the  stars  shine  always  in  the  sky? 

I  think  if  I  might  die, 

Something  more  sweet,  less  tiring  than  the  duty 

Of  kissing  her,  might  be;  I  am  tired  of  myrrh, 

And  kissing  her. 



Khaled,  come,  come,  and  slowly  move  the  scented 

Gold  narghile  away;  let  the  lyres  cease. 

And  now  a  little  peace! 

For  see,  moon-faced  Leila  hath  repented 

Of  singing  Hafiz'  songs  melodiously, 

And  languidly. 

Surely  all  things  are  vain,  and  great  thanksgiving 

Is  due  not;  surely  all  things  now  are  vain; 

And  all  my  heart  is  fain 

Of  something,  something,  far  too  great  for  living; 

Nothing  is  very  sad,  nor  wonderful, 

Nor  beautiful. 

Well  now,  since  all  things  are  not  worth  the  winning, 

Goodbye!  With  these  I  have  a  little  playd; 

And  once,  alas,  I  pray'd 

That  gorgeous,  golden  sins  be  mine  for  sinning; 

But  now  I  would  not  leave  my  palanquin 

For  any  sin. 

And  long  ago  i  prov'd  in  great  compassion 
For  man,  that  Brahm  is  not  nor  ever  was; 
But  now,  alas,  alas 



I  would  he  were,  that  in  the  olden  fashion 
I  might  laugh  once  again  ere  all  is  said; 
But  Brahm  is  dead. 

Then  "with  philosophy  I  bor'd  me  duly; 
And  since  I  could  not  slumber  all  the  time, 
I,  in  sweet  golden  rhyme, 
On  white  papyrus  scented  with  patchouli 
Wrote  masterpieces  starry-beautiful. 
The  earth  was  full. 

So  beauty  wearied  me;  in  order  slowly 
Love,  Joy,  and  Victory  came  unto  me; 
I  kiss'd  them  languidly; 
'And  Virtue  came,  and  Duty,  stiff  and  holy; 
To  these  I  said — Pray  come  another  day; 
'And  turn'd  away. 

Now  since  of  all  I  am  a  little  weary, 

And  since  on  earth  I  must  a  while  sojourn, 

And  since  a  while  must  burn 

The  censer  of  my  long  existence  dreary, 

All  things  shall  walk,  that  own  my  mastery, 

In  luxury. 



My  Ennui  shall  in  vestments  falling  lowly, 

Stiff,  purple,  trailing,  long,  episcopal 

Sweep  through  her  palace  hall, 

Like  to  a  consecrated  bishop  holy; 

My  Sin  from  golden  goblets  of  Bysant 

Shall  drink  absinthe. 

And  my  gold-crowned  wanton  goddess  Pleasure, 

(My  candles  are  all  burning  at  her  shrine) 

Shall  be  made  drunk  with  wine, 

And  walk  unto  the  velvet-falling  measure 

Of  golden-voiced,  solemn-sounding  shawms. 

No  rhyme  for  shawms. 

All  they  that  wait  upon  me  in  my  glory, 
My  purple  Pride,  and  my  Luxuriousness, 
And  my  Voluptuousness, 
Shall  show  within  their  faces  transitory 
Something  more  subtile  than  all  life  can  give, 
While  I  shall  live.     .    . 

Ah,  all  is  liv'd,  all  eaten,  all  is  drunken! 
Soul,  is  there  anything  now  left  for  thee 
Excepting  sanctity  ? 



Nay,  ev'n  we  too  have  been  in  virtue  sunken, 
We  have  been  holy  priest,  we  have  confess'd, 
Said,  Missa  Est. 

/  have  drunk  out  of  heavy  goblets  golden, 
As  from  some  hellish  tabernaculum 
Cannabis,  conium; 

I  know  quite  all  the  poisons,  all  the  olden 
Sins,  all  the  tenebreux  dark  secrets  hid, 
And  things  forbid. 

I  have  had  all  things  unto  mortals  given, 

I  all  the  women,  all  the  passion  I, 

All  the  satiety; 

I  have  had  all  the  pleasures  known  in  heaven, 

Paradisiacal,  purpureal, 


With  all  the  sciences  I  am  acquainted, 
Alas!  I  know  quite  all  the  languages, 
All  the  philosophies, 

Alas!  and  all  the  pictures  that  are  painted, 
'And  all  the  palac'd  capitals  that  be 
Have  wearied  me. 



"Alas,  all  art,  all  knowledge,  and  all  passion 

I  have  had:  I  have  heard  all  the  symphonies; 

I  have  sail'd  all  the  seas; 

I  have  drain'd  all  life's  cup  in  languid  fashion; 

And  I  am  come  to  Persia  again, 

Land  of  cocagne. 


The  Book  of  Jade 



In  thy  blue  pallid  gown  that  shimmereth 
So  pale  thou  standest  in  the  wan  moonlight, 
Where  the  gold  censer  near  thy  body  white 
Wraps  thee  around  with  its  perfumed  breath ; 

So  wan  thy  high  tiara  glimmereth 
Above  thy  mystical  far  eyes  of  light, 
Thou  seemest  some  dead  goddess  of  the  night, 
O  starry  love,  O  changeless  Ashtoreth. 

Pallid  thou  standest  in  thy  divinity, 

Like  some  moon-idol  of  the  buried  time, 

Before  whose  face  priests  sing  in  solemn  chime. 

So  I  prostrate  before  thy  deity, 

Unto  thy  face  have  solemn  praises  sung, 

And  in  my  hands  a  golden  censer  swung. 


It  is  not  that  thy  face  is  fair 

As  dying  sunsets  are, 
Nor  that  thy  lovely  eyelids  wear 

The  splendour  of  a  star ; 
Tis  the  deep  sadness  of  thine  eyes 

Hath  my  heart  captive  led, 
And  that  within  thy  soul  I  prize 

The  calmness  of  the  dead. 

O  holy  love,  O  fair  white  face, 

O  sweet  lost  soul  of  thine ! 
Thy  bosom  is  an  altar-place, 

Thy  kisses  holy  wine ; 
Sweet  incense  offer'd  for  my  bliss 

Is  thy  corrupted  breath, 
And  on  thy  stained  lips  I  kiss 

The  holy  lips  of  Death ! 


Wherefore  because  thy  heart  is  all 

Fill'd   full  of  mournfulness, 
And  thy  gold  head  as  with  a  pall 

Hung  o'er  with  sinfulness; 
Because  thy  soul  is  utterly 

Sinful  unto  the  core — 
Therefore  my  heart  is  bound  to  thee, 

Dear  love,  forevermore ! 



Naught  is  more  sweet  than  gently  to  let  dream 
The  pallid  flower  of  life  asleep  alway ; 
Where  the  dim  censer  sends  up  far  from  day 
Unceasingly  its  still-ascending  stream, 

O  where  the  air  winds  its  myrrh-scented  steam 
About  thy  naked  body's  disarray, 
Shall  not  today's  gold  to  thy  shut  eyes  seem 
Born  and  forgot  in  the  dead  ages  gray  ? 

Sunk  from  life's  mournful  loud  processional, 

For  thee  shall  not  with  high  uplifted  urn 

The  Night  pour  out  dreams  that  awake  and  say, 

— We  were,  O  pallid  maiden  vesperal, 
Before  the  world ;  we  also  in  our  turn 
By  the  vain  morning  gold  scatter'd  away. 



I  love  all  sombre  and  autumnal  things, 
Regal  and  mournful  and  funereal, 
Things  strange  and  curious  and  majestical, 
Whereto  a  solemn  savor  of  death  clings: 

Coerulian  serpents  mark'd  with  azure  rings ; 
Awful  cathedrals  where  rich  shadows  fall ; 
Hoarse  symphonies  sepulchral  as  a  pall ; 
Mad  crimes  adorn'd  with  bestial  blazonings. 

Therefore  I  love  thee  more  than  aught  that  dies, 
Within  whose  subtile  beauty  slumbereth 
The  twain   solemnity   of   life  and   death; 

Therefore  I  sit  beside  thee  far  from  day 

And  look  into  thy  holy  eyes  alway, 

Thy  desolate  eyes,  thine  unillumin'd  eyes. 


Although  thy  face  be  whiter  than  the  dawn, 
Fairer  than  aught  the  dawning  hath  descried, 
Hast  thou  not  now,  O  dear  love  deified, 
Enough  of  kisses  upon  thy  forehead  wan  ? 

The  days  and  nights,  like  beads  to  pray  upon, 
Pass  by  before  our  eyes  and  not  abide, 
And  so  these  things  shall  be  till  we  have  died, 
Until  our  bodies  to  the  earth  are  gone. 

I  think  how  pleasant  such  a  thing  must  be, 
That  all  thy  lovely  limbs  should  fall  away, 
And  drop  to  nothing  in  their  soft  decay. 

Then  may  thy  buried  body  turn  to  me, 
With  new  love  on  thy  changed  lips  like  fire, 
And  kiss  me  with  a  kiss  that  shall  not  tire. 



I  sat  in  tall  Gomorrah  on  a  day, 
Boring  myself  with  solitude  and  dreams, 
When,  like  strange  priests,  with  sacerdotal  tread, 
The  seven  mortal  sins,  in  rich  array, 

Came  in  and  knelt:  one  old,  and  weak,  and  gray, 
One  that  was  shrouded  like  a  person  dead, 
And  one  whose  robes  cast  reddish-purple  gleams 
Upon  her  scornful  face  at  peace  alway. 

They  swung  before  me  amschirs  of  strange  gold, 
And  one  most  beautiful  began  to  pray, 
Dreamily  garmented  in  pallid  blue. 

But  I  said  only — I  have  dream'd  of  you. 
Naught  really  is ;  all  things  are  very  old, 
And  very  foolish.     Please  to  go  away. 


All  the  authors  that  there  are  bore  Me; 

All  the  philosophies  bore  Me; 

All  the  statues  and  all  the  temples  bore  Me ; 

— All  the  authors  that  there  are  bore  Thee ; 

All  the  philosophies  bore  Thee ; 

All  the  statues  and  all  the  temples  bore  Thee. 

All  the  women  of  the  earth  weary  Me ; 
The  fruit  of  the  vine  wearieth  Me ; 
All  the  symphonies  weary  Me. 

— All  the  women  of  the  earth  weary  Thee ; 
The  fruit  of  the  vine  wearieth  Thee; 
All  the  symphonies  weary  Thee. 

Victory    and    defeat    fatigue    Me ; 
Gladness  and  sorrowing  fatigue  Me; 
Life  and  death  fatigue  Me. 

— Victory  and  defeat  fatigue  Thee ; 
Gladness  and  sorrowing  fatigue  Thee; 
Life  and  death  fatigue  Thee. 


The  earth  and  the  heavens  weary  Me ; 

The  sun  by  day  and  the  moon  by  night  weary  Me ; 

All  the  great  stars  of  heaven  weary  Me. 

— The  earth  and  the  heavens  weary  Thee ; 

The  sun  by  day  and  the  moon  by  night  weary  Thee ; 

All  the  great  stars  of  heaven  weary  Thee. 


The  glorious  company  of  the  Apostles  tireth  Me ; 
The  goodly  fellowship  of  the  Prophets  tireth  Me; 
The  noble  army  of  Martyrs  tireth  Me. 

— The  glorious  company  of  the  Apostles  tireth  Thee; 
The  goodly  fellowship  of  the  Prophets  tireth  Thee; 
The  noble  army  of  Martyrs  tireth  Thee. 

All  the  race  of  men  weary  Me ; 

The  Cherubim  and  the  Seraphim  weary  Me; 

Myself  wearieth  Me. 

— All  the  race  of  men  weary  Thee ; 

The  Cherubim  and  the  Seraphim  weary  Thee; 

Thyself  wearieth  Thee. 


Tired  Muse,  put  faded  roses  on  thy  brow, 
Put  thy  bare  arms  about  the  harp,  and  sing : 
— I  am  a  little  bor'd  with  everything. 
Past  the  clos'd  jalousies  the  mlengkas  go ; 

They  are  not  beautiful ;  no  Greek  they  know ; 
They  go  about  and  howl  and  make  a  fuss ; 
I  gaze  through  sdd-shap'd  eyelids  languorous. 
Far  off  from  Ispahan  where  roses  blow. 

Professors  sit  on  lofty  stools  upcurl'd, 
Through  Yankee  noses  drooling  all  day  long; 
I  find  all  these  things  quite  ridiculous. 

Before  despis'd  old  age  comes  over  us, 
Let  us  step  into  the  great  world  ere  long. 
We  shall  be  very  grand  in  the  great  world ! 



They  come  and  go,  they  pass  before  my  soul, 
Desire  and  Love,  weak  Anguish  and  Distress, 
Shame  and  Despair :  in  phantom  crowds  they  press, 
Life's  poor  processional,  Time's  lowly  dole. 

Mournful  their  voices  as  slow  bells  that  toll, 
Voices  of  them  that  curse  and  do  not  bless ; 
Ineffable  things  wrapp'd  round  with  loathsomeness, 
The  deeds  that  I  have  done  in  Fate's  control. 

They  leer  and  moan,  they  shriek  and  threat  and  lower, 

Ignoble  faces  that  the  sky  do  mar ; 

My  changeless  soul  from  her  high  pride  of  power 

Looks  down  unmov'd.     So  the  calm  evening  star 
Upon  the  wallowing  peaceless  sea  looks  down, 
Set  far  aloft  within  the  heaven's  crown. 



Quelle  betise !  O  Muse,  no  longer  lappt  in  sadness  let  us 

Bring  the  jars  of  old  Falernum,  bring  the  roses  ere 
they  die! 

I  love  laughter,  I  love  kisses,  I  love  Lili,  I  love  love, 

But  these  dingy  funeral  dirges  ennuyer  us  by-and-by ; 

Fellows,  disinvoltamente,  when  the  lords  of  life  depart, 

Lift  the  wine-cup  to  your  haughty  lips,  and  sing,  Good 
bye,  goodbye ! 

We  have  laughter  on  our  lips,  and  in  our  hearts  the 
laughing  spring, 

Nothing  greatly  can  afflict  us,  nor  our  spirits  mortify ; 

All  the  laws  and  regulations  under  scornful  feet  we  tread, 

We  laugh  loud  at  all  the  virtues  underneath  the  shining 

I  have  heard,  when  haughty  Tarquin  did  his  horrid  deed 
of  sin, 

That  Lucretia's  lily  fingers  slapp'd  his  face  vivaciously  ; 

Though  of  all  my  life  dear  Lili  make  a  gay  degringolade, 

Yet  to  my  ennuis  doth  Lili  sing  an  endless  lullaby; 

We  are  Greeks  and  we  are  Tartars,  we  know  all  the 



To  the  girls  of  Persia,  India,  China,  we  know  how  to  sigh  ; 
If  the  heartless  heart  of  Lili  tediously  cruel  prove, 
Go  and  dance  the  tarantella  with  the  girls  of  Hokusai ! 
In  the  golden-citied  world  from  Paris  unto  Tokio 
We  are  quite  at  home,  we  saunter  languidly  through  tall 

Shanghai ; 

Chairete !  the  shaw  of  rosy  Persia  is  a  gentleman, 
Charming  people  in  Benares  where  the  Ganges  loiters  by ; 
Allah  akbar !  O  great  world,  O  golden-tower'd  cities  gay, 
Into  all  your  gates  with  laughter  and  with  roses  enter  I ! 

Kalliste,  your  Persian  ghazal  cease  to  sing :  the  sun  is  low, 
And  the  sacred  hour  of  absinthe  now  is  very  very  nigh. 


Your  soul  is  like  a  purple  flower, 

Mary,  whose  eyes  are  amethyst, 

Whose  lips  are  like  red  wine  when  kist, 
With  sweet  life  and  sweet  death  for  dower; 
There  are  who  will  have  none  of  these, 

Who  walk  in  peace  all  day  upright, 
And  in  the  night  pray  on  their  knees — 

The  pleasures  of  the  life  in  white. 

All  cloth'd  with  virtues  manifold 

Are  these — their  souls  are  like  white  snow ; 

Fair  love,  around  thy  heart  I  know 
My  heart  is  bound  with  chains  of  gold. 
Sweet  youths  whose  life  is  in  the  spring, 

The  water  is  all  wine  they  drink, 
They  sorrow  not  at  anything — 

The  pleasures  of  the  life  in  pink. 

Your  gold  hair's  like  an  aureole, 

Your  lips  are  gold  wine  bought  and  sold, 
Pure  golden  kisses  bought  for  gold ; 

Each  breast  is  like  a  golden  bowl. 



These  things  are  for  a  scorn  to  those 

That  read  great  books  both  night  and  day, 

That  say,  Joy  dieth  as  the  rose — 
The  pleasures  of  the  life  in  gray. 

Sweet  youths,  white  ladies,  scholars  sour, 
Rejoice,  and  hasten  on  your  way ; 
Mary,  whose  skin  is  white  as  whey, 

Your  soul  is  like  a  purple  flower. 



— O  Muse  of  mine  that  sittest  orientally 

With  a  green  emerald  snake  about  the  waist  of  thee, 

With  henna-tinted  feet,  and  almond  eyes  that  dream, 

Put  down  the  opium-pipe  of  jade  and  ivory, 

For  she  that  is  most  fair  is  fain  to  hear  thy  song : 

Awake,  O  Muse,  and  sing  her  praises  solemnly, 

That  to  the  laughing  heart  of  California 

Hath  added  all  the  grace  of  France  and  Italy ; 

She  who,  to  put  to  sleep  my  pitiless  ennuis 

Is  come  from  distant  Paris  and  from  Varsovie; 

Athens  is  in  her  heart,  and  Paris  in  her  eyes, 

Dear  European  angel  from  beyond  the  sea ! 

— There  is  no  use  to  sing ;  she  is  not  to  be  sung ; 
What  mortal  praise  can  come  unto  her  glory  near? 
And  she  hath  quite  forgot  her  natal  English  tongue; 
She  is  too  far,  too  high,  thy  languid  praise  to  hear, 
Too  delicate,  too  strange,  too  wicked,  too  divine, 
Too  heavenly,  too  sweet,  too  bad,  too  fair,  too  dear ! 
'N'est-elle  pas  I' oasis  ou  tu  reves  et  la  gourde 
Ou  tu  humes  a  longs  traits  le  vin  du  souvenir?' 



— Why  sittest  thou,  O  Muse,  in  grief  enfolden  ? 
— Thou  hast  me  promis'd  jewels  rich  and  rare 
To  wear  within  my  hair; 
And  for  my  slaves  the  kings  of  kingdoms  olden ; 

And  to  abide  in  lofty  castles  golden, 
Because  I  am  most  fair. 
And  lo,  I  have  no  sandals  for  my  feet, 
And  little  bread  to  eat. 

Of  that  far  golden  Irem  I  am  dreaming, 
Whence  for  few  kisses  I  did  follow  thee ; 
Fair  is  that  spot  to  see, 

With  far-off  waving  palms  and  towers  gleaming ; 
Great  deserts  round  that  isle  of  blissful  seeming 
Lie  stre'tching  endlessly. 



When  I  contemplate  how  my  state  is  low, 
And  how  my  pride  that  had  the  earth  for  throne 
In  this  dark  city  sitteth  all  alone, 
My  heart  is  fain  for  death  to  end  its  woe ; 

Then  when  I  think  how  all  the  great  below 
Had  only  sorrow  and  grief  through  all  their  days, 
I,  that  with  these  shall  some  time  stand  in  place, 
My  fortune  like  their  bitter  fortune  know. 

Among  whom  also  holy  Baudelaire, 
Though  unto  him  the  loftiest  lot  was  given 
To  hear  the  blessed  muses  sing  in  heaven, 

Past  his  few  days  in  anguish  and  despair ; 
Yet  did  he  not  bow  down  his  mournful  head 
Until  Peace  found  him  in  his  glory  dead. 

So  thou  in  this  low  lair, 

Although  in  sorrow  and  grief  thou  dost  remain, 

Though  of  all  things  whereof  thy  soul  was  fain 

Remaineth  only  pain, 

Yet  be  not  thou,  O  soul,  disconsolate: 

Forget  not  thou  thy  far-exalted  state. 



Be  not  cast  down  my  heart,  and  be  not  sad, 
That  thou  like  common  men  must  sorrow  know ; 
Not  only  they  that  live  and  die  below, 
But  ev'n  the  gods  thy  supreme  sorrow  had ; 

Not  unto  Tammuz  was  this  fortune  given, 
Not  to  know  grief ;  whom  starry  Ashtoreth 
Sought  through  the  seven-gated  realm  of  death, 
Far  from  the  great  moon  and  the  stars  of  heaven. 

Osiris  also  could  not  but  to  die ; 

He  reigneth  king  among  the  perisht  dead ; 

And  Christ,  when  his  long  grief  was  finished, 

Hid  his  great  glory  in  the  lowly  ground. 
All  these  had  sorrow,  that  were  great  and  high ; 
These  also  were  august,  these  also  crown'd. 



As  shadows  pass,  in  the  misty  night, 
Over  the  wan  and  moonlit  grass, 

So  passeth  our  glory  out  of  sight, 
As  shadows  pass. 

A  little  darkness,  a  little  light, 

Sorrow  and  gladness,  a  weary  mass, 
Glimmer  and  falter  and  pass  in  blight. 

So  all  our  life,  in  waning  flight, 

Fadeth  and  faltereth,  alas  ; 
Passeth  our  sorrow  and  our  delight, 

As  shadows  pass. 


Weep,  far  autumnal  skies, 
Shrouded  in  misty  air ; 

Weep,  for  thy  solemn  dearth, 
And  for  thy  chill  despair, 

O  stricken  forest-trees, 

Dead  leaves  that  falter  down 
Solemnly  to  your  sleep, 

Golden,  and  red,  and  brown, 



The  lady  rode  'neath  the  strange  sky's  pall 

Through  the  leafy  woods  funereal, 

And  all  the  length  of  her  moonlit  way 

Was  wanly  white  as  the  light  of  day ; 

Solemnly  rob'd  she  rode  along, 

Unmindful  of  their  droning  throng 

That  throng'd  her  shadowy  path,  alas, 

As  though  to  see  her  funeral  pass ; 

So  through  the  mournful  forest  slow 

Her  palfrey's  silken  feet  did  go, 

Bearing  her  solemnly  like  a  god 

Over  the  shadow-haunted  sod  ; 

She  laught  to  see  the  dead  desire 

That  even  now  her  life  should  tire, 

She  laught  to  think  that  to  the  earth 

They  call'd  her  that  was  full  of  mirth, 

And  though  before  her  horse's  head 

Throng'd  the  wan  legions  of  the  dead 

Wanly  attempting  to  stop  her  way, 

She  halted  not  for  their  legions  gray, 

But  rode  through  the  midnight's  mystic  noon 

Under  the  far  gaze  of  the  moon. 



Then  out  from  the  dying  woods  at  last 
Into  the  moonlit  plain  she  passt ; 
The  misty  stars  were  almost  dead 
Sunk  in  the  heavens  overhead, 
While  low  down  in  the  solemn  skies 
The  white  moon  wan'd  as  one  that  dies. 
Solemnly  through  the  misty  air 
She  rode  with  gold  gems  in  her  hair ; 
Bright  were  her  holy  eyes  divine, 
And  red  her  lips  as  the  red  red  wine. 
At  last  in  the  unceasing  night 
Down  from  her  palfrey  she  doth  alight 
By  the  strange  murmuring  of  the  sea ; 
She  climbs  the  tall  stair  fearlessly, 
And  cometh  at  last  to  her  chamber  high 
Beneath  the  wide  face  of  the  sky. 
At  last  her  journey  being  done, 
She  hath  her  golden  stays  undone, 
And  being  a  little  wearied, 
Hath  laid  her  naked  on  her  bed, 
Thinking  to  slumber  like  the  dead. 


When  Death  shall  touch  thy  body  beautiful, 
And  thou  that  art  of  all  the  earth  most  fair 
Shalt  close  thine  eyes  upon  the  shining  air, 
An  unadorned  gold  urn  to  make  full ; 

When  that  thou  liest  quietly  inurn'd 

In  the  dark  bosom  of  the  earth  divine, 

Being  turned  unto  a  heap  of  ashes  fine, 

For  love  of  whose  white  face  all  men  have  burn'd ; 

Then  in  the  earth,  O  beautiful  white  love, 
Thy  beauty  shall  not  wholly  end  and  cease, 
When  that  thou  art  gone  to  endless  peace ; 

Though  all  things  beneath  the  sky  above 
Fade  away,  it  knoweth  not  to  die, 
But  abideth  changeless  endlessly. 



Anguish  and  Mourning  are  as  gold  to  her ; 
She  weareth  Pain  upon  her  as  a  gem, 
And  on  her  head  Grief  like  a  diadem ; 
And  as  with  frankincense  and  tropic  myrrh 

Her  face  is  fragrant  made  with  utter  Woe ; 
And  on  her  purple  gorgeous  garment's  hem 
Madness  and  Death  and  all  the  ways  of  them 
Emblazoned  in  strange  carousal  show. 

Within  her  delicate  face  are  all  things  met, 
And  all  the  sad  years  and  the  dolorous  days 
Are  but  as  jewels  round  her  forehead  set, 

Add  but  a  little  glory  to  her  face, 

A  little  languor  to  her  half-clos'd  eyes, 

That  smile  so  strangely  under  the  far  skies. 



O  poppy-buds,  that  in  the  golden  air 
Wave  heavy  hanging  censers  of  delight, 
Give  me  an  anodyne  for  my  despair ; 

O  crimson  poppy-blooms,  O  golden  blight, 
O  careless  drunken  heavy  poppy-flowers, 
Make  that  the  day  for  me  be  as  the  night. 

Give  me  to  lie  down  in  your  drowsy  bowers, 
That  having  breathed  of  your  rich  perfume, 
My  soul  may  have  all-rest  through  all  the  hours ; 

So  shall  I  lie  within  my  little  room, 
While  the  poor  tyrants  of  the  world  go  by, 
Restfully  shrouded  in  your  velvet  gloom, 

Beneath  the  wide  face  of  the  cloudless  sky. 

— Even  so,  when  thou  shalt  eat  of  us, 
Even  so,  thy  life  shall  be  a  sleep, 
Empty  of  all  things  fierce  and  piteous ; 

Even  as  a  sailor  on  the  tossing  deep 
Hears  vaguely  the  vain  tumult  on  the  shore, 
Shouts  of  the  fighters,  songs  of  them  that  reap. 

Life  is  all  vanity,  a  loathed  sore, 
A  scatter'd  dust,  a  vain  and  soiled  heap. — 
Thou  shalt  have  golden  rest  forevermore. 



O  poppy-flowers,  golden,  sleepy,  sweet, 
O  yellow  tawny  fading  blooms  of  gold, 
Give  unto  me  your  holy  fruit  to  eat ; 

Make  me  forget  all  things  above  the  mould ; 
Make  me  forget  that  dolorous  vow  that  sears, 
Not  to  be  lesser  than  the  great  of  old ; 

Make  me  forget  the  heavy  old  dead  years, 
And  all  that  lives  from  out  the  writhing  past, 
Old  struggles,  dead  ambitions,  buried  tears ; 

And  that  white  face  that  I  shall  see  the  last. 

— Sweet  is  forgetfulness,  most  sweet  to  lie, 
Sunken  from  sorrow,  in  our  pleasant  vale, 
Where  but  the  sun  shines,  and  the  clouds  go  by ; 

Even  as  to  them  that  through  deep  waters  sail 
The  toiling  shore  fades  and  becomes  a  sky, 
And  evermore  behind  the  billows  fail. 

Sweet  to  forget  the  death-like  things  that  were, 
Green  pastures  where  the  clouds  sail  by  on  high, 
Dead  sundawns  over  pathless  prairies  fair, 

And  suns  long  sunk  beneath  the  wall  of  the  sky. 

Under  the  sun  my  spirit  lies  alone, 
Drunken  with  slumber  and  mild  exstasy     .     .     . 



Sleep,  sweet  sleep,  long  unto  mine  eyes  unknown. 
Drops  on  me  as  ripe  fruit  drops  from  a  tree ; 
My  dim  eyes  see  the  valley  poppy-strown ; 

The  clouds  fade  and  the  gold  sun  over  me, 
And  the  world's  murmur  sounds  within  my  lair 
Like  the  far  tossing  of  some  infinite  sea ; 

Within  the  heavy  slumber-laden  air 
All  fades,  all  fades,  and  grows  afar  afar, 
Leaving  my  soul  alone,  empty  of  care, 

Even  as  happy  long-dead  bodies  are. 
Even  so  I  slumber  in  my  tireless  close, 
While  the  whole  world  fades  like  a  fading  star, 

Dies  like  the  perfume  of  a  dying  rose. 



Among  all  sorrows  that  my  heart  hath  known, 
Among  all  sorrows  that  my  spirit  keep 
Forever  buried  'neath  their  mountains  steep, 
Standeth  one  consolation,  one  alone. 

I  know  that  earth  shall  be  for  death  a  throne, 
And  evermore  within  their  burials  deep 
The  banded  nations  of  the  earth  shall  sleep, 
Sunken  in  sepulchres  of  sculptur'd  stone. 

Then  all  the  world  shall  be  a  quietness : 
Dead  women  beautiful  with  their  delights ; 
All  they  that  had  such  striving  and  distress, 

And  endless  weariness  in  all  the  lands, 
White  faces,  eager  heart-strings,  soiled  hands ; 
And  peace  shall  hold  the  valleys  and  the  heights. 



Thy  splendour-lighted  face  before  mine  eyes 
Shines  like  a  flaming  sunset  evermore; 
Thee  only  I  behold  on  the  earth's  floor, 
Thee  only  I  behold  within  the  skies ; 

Thy  coming  on  is  like  a  conqueror, 
Before  thy  footsteps  the  world's  glory  dies, 
Within  mine  ears  thy  voice  doth  ever  rise 
Like  a  loud  ocean  beating  on  the  shore. 

Thou  art  made  kindred  with  eternity, 
Daughter  of  glory,  daughter  of  consolations ; 
Thy  face  is  set  above  the  constellations ; 

Of  Death  !  O  love  !  be  I  made  one  with  thee, 
That  on  thy  holy  lips  and  in  thy  love 
The  world  may  perish  and  the  light  thereof! 


Lo,  now  my  life  is  gone  unto  eclipse 
Upon  thy  perilous  bosom ;  lo,  I  die, 
Faint  with  the  utter  whole  of  exstasy, 
With  unassuaged  lips  against  thy  lips, 

That  can  give  no  more  joy;  lo,  at  the  place 
Of  utter  joy,  lo,  at  joy's  far-off  throne, 
Which  none  shall  reach,  with  eyes  now  weary  grown, 
I  lie  slain  at  its  utmost  golden  base. 

Yea,  we  have  call'd  the  white  stars  to  behold 
Our  pale  and  fainting  faces  sick  with  joy; 

0  regal  lips  that  shall  death's  sting  destroy, 

1  have  suck'd  bare  life's  cup  upon  thy  breath ! 
Kiss  me  to  death !     Lo,  now  our  lips  are  cold, 
Wilt  thou  not  bring  new  joy,  O  Death,  O  Death? 



Lo,  all  the  passionate  pale  evening 

I  lay  between  the  breasts  of  my  beloved, 

Among  the  lilies,  in  the  lily  garden. 

The  sky  was  pale,  and  all  the  sunset  faded, 

And  all  the  stars  I  saw  not  in  the  heaven, 

Because  the  glory  of  her  face  above  me 

I  saw  alone,  wrapt  in  a  dream  of  slumber ; 

And  lo,  she  was  more  fair  than  all  the  lilies, 

Among  the  lilies,  in  the  lily  garden. 

And  all  her  hair  was  golden  chains  to  bind  me, 

And  all  her  mouth  was  crimson  fire  to  burn  me, 

And  all  the  world  became  as  wind  before  me, 

But  as  the  wind  before  her  face  that  passes, 

Among  the  lilies,  in  the  lily  garden. 

And  lo,  her  face  was  fairer  than  the  stars  are, 

And  lo,  her  breasts  were  whiter  than  the  moon  is, 

Whiter  than  the  moon,  and  tipp'd  with  crimson  coral. 

And  low  she  bow'd  her  body,  low  before  me, 

And  gave  me  of  her  joy  unto  fulfilling: 

She  bow'd  her  head  whereto  the  stars  do  homage, 

Before  whose  face  the  years  wax  dim  and  fading, 



Before  whose  eyes  the  ages  pass  and  vanish ; 
Bow'd  her  low  down  before  me  like  a  lily, 
Among  the  lilies,  in  the  lily  garden. 
And  now  at  last  I  care  not  if  the  morning 
Come  at  all,  or  the  pale  stars  have  setting, 
Nay  I  care  not  if  the  whole  world  perish, 
Perish  and  die,  or  if  the  white  stars  falter, 
Nay  I  care  not  if  the  night  forever 
Hold  me  by  her,  and  all  things  have  ceasing ; 
Yea,  because  her  lips  are  more  than  roses, 
Yea,  because  her  breasts  are  more  than  Heaven, 
Yea,  because  her  face  is  more  than  God  is, 
Among  the  lilies,  in  the  lily  garden. 


O  starry  light  of  the  dim  universe ! 
The  night  adoreth  thee,  the  planets  high 
That  reign  far  off  within  the  desert  sky 
Praise  thee  as  with  the  sound  of  dulcimers, 
And  all  the  temples  of  the  night  rehearse 
Thy  solemn  glory  everlastingly ! 

O  thou  for  whom  the  moon's  pale-lighted  star 

And  all  the  planets  and  the  milky  gleam, 

But  as  a  little  of  thy  praising  seem, 

And  the  great  lights  that  swim  through  heaven  afar 

But  the  reflection  of  thy  glory  are; 

Thou  only  art ;  these  are  but  shine  and  dream ; 

Thou  art  that  light  that  doth  the  stars  illume, 
Thou  art  the  glimmer  of  the  moon  divine ; 
All  these  are  but  the  garment  that  is  thine ; 
Thou  art  the  wonder  and  the  glow,  the  bloom, 
Thou  art  the  lonely  lamp  in  night's  great  gloom, 
Thou  art  the  skyey  light,  the  starry  shine. 



Starlight  is  but  the  glory  of  thy  face, 

The  shimmer  of  the  silver  planets  pale 

Is  but  the  dim  effulgence  of  thy  veil ; 

And  the  great  passing  of  the  nights  and  days 

Is  all  but  as  the  perfume  of  thy  praise. 

O  Holy,  Holy,  Holy,  hail,  O  hail! 



The  lady  awoke  before  the  cold  gray  dawn, 
And  had  no  joy  thereof; 
— What  joy  is  mine  of  all  the  joy  of  love, 
When  love  is  gone  ? 

Lo,  all  the  air  is  strange  unto  mine  eyes, 
Lo,  all  the  stars  are  dead ; 
Only  the  moon  appeareth  overhead 
As  one  that  dies. 

Lo,  all  the  garden  lieth  desolate, 
And  very  strange  to  see, 
Wherein,  the  roses  and  the  grass  for  me 
Blossom'd  of  late. 

O  rose-garden  wherein  my  roses  grew, 
O  odorous  dim  ways, 

Why  are  ye  strange  to  me  as  perish'd  days, 
And  cold  with  dew? 



Through  the  wide  window  creeps  the  cold  sweet  air, 

Faint  with  sweet  rose-perfume, 

It  stealeth  o'er  my  body  in  the  gloom, 

And  o'er  my  hair. 

Surely  I  have  drunk  full  of  love's  delight, 
But  now  my  lips  are  cold, 
While  the  pale  day  in  silence  doth  behold 
The  dying  night. 



Remember,  ye  whom  the  skies  delight, 

Whose  faces  flame  with  the  falling  sun, 
That  after  sunset  cometh  the  night, 
That  sorrow  followeth  all  delight, 

When  love,  and  lover,  and  lov'd  are  one. 

O  ye  whose  days  are  as  sands  that  run, 

One  house  there  is  unknown  of  delight, 
One  garden  is  there  belov'd  of  none, 
One  place  there  is  unseen  of  the  sun, 
Remember,  ye  whom  the  skies  delight. 


She  hath  liv'd  the  life  of  a  rose, 

She  that  was  fair, 

Blown  on  by  the  summer  air, 
Grown  tall  in  a  golden  close. 

An  ending  is  set  to  delight; 

Now  thou  art  as  grass, 

As  the  leaves,  as  the  blossoms  that  pass, 
Made  pale  at  the  touch  of  the  night. 




Cometh  a  day  and  a  night, 

When  the  lamps  of  life  burn  dim, 
When  peace  is  secur'd  for  delight, 

And  poppies  for  the  red-rose  flower ; 

When  the  lamps  of  life  burn  dim, 
Cometh  a  day  and  a  night, 

A  day  and  a  night  and  an  hour. 

Cometh  the  end  of  the  years, 

When  the  cheeks  have  the  lilies'  bloom, 
When  slumber  is  given  for  tears, 

And  the  breasts  to  the  worm  belong ; 

When  the  cheeks  have  the  lilies'  bloom, 
Cometh  the  end  of  the  years, 

As  silence  after  the  song. 

Cometh  a  day  and  a  night 

For  him  to  whom  all  is  thrown, 
Whose  own  is  the  bosom  white, 

Whose  own  are  the  lips  of  gold ; 

For  him  to  whom  all  is  thrown, 
Cometh  a  day  and  a  night, 

To  have  and  to  own  and  to  hold. 


Surely  thy  face,  love,  is  a  little  pale, 
And  somewhat  wan  thy  lips  that  were  so  red, 
And  though  my  kisses  might  raise  up  the  dead, 
To  waken  thy  deep  sleep  they  naught  avail. 

Before  thy  stillness  some  poor  men  might  quail, 
But  I  shall  not  desert  thy  holy  bed, 
Although  thy  passionate  lips  have  no  word  said, 
And  thine  adored  breasts  are  cold  like  hail. 

Thou  art  gone  down  to  Death,  thou  art  gone  down, 
And  the  dead  things  shall  nestle  in  thy  hair, 
And  the  dust  shall  profane  thy  golden  crown, 

And  the  worms  shall  consume  thy  perfect  face ; 
Even  so :  but  Death  shall  bring  thee  no  disgrace, 
And  to  the  stars  I  cry,  Thou  art  most  fair! 


White-rose  perfume 

Go  with  thee  on  thy  way 

Unto  thy  shaded  tomb ; 

Low  music  fall 

Lightly  as  autumn  leaves 

About  thy  solemn  pall ; 

Faint  incense  rise 

From  many  a  censer  swung 

Above  thy  closed  eyes; 

And  the  sounds  of  them  that  pray 

Make  thy  low  bier  an  holy  thing  to  be, 

That  all  the  beauty  underneath  the  sun 

Carries  unto  the  clay. 

Odour  of  musk  and  roses 
Make  sweet  thy  crimson  lips 
Whereon  my  soul  hath  gone  to  deep  eclipse ; 
Poppies'  and  violets'  scent 
Be  for  thy  burial  lent 

And  every  flower  that  sweetest  smell  discloses. 


Upon  thy  breast, 

Before  which  all  my  spirit  hath  bow'd  down, 

White  lilies  rest; 

And  for  a  crown  upon  thy  mortal  head 

Be  poppies  red. 

And  for  eternal  peace 

Be  poppies  strown  upon  thy  holy  eyes, 

Till  also  these  shall  cease 

Turning  to  that  which  man  is  when  he  dies. 

And  poppies  on  thine  unassuaged  mouth 

Be  strown,  until  death  shall  be  done  with  thee, 

Until  the  white  worms  shall  be  one  with  thee. 



The  moon  shone  full  that  night, 
And  fill'd  with  misty  light 
The  solemn  clouds  hung  white 

Above  her  pall ; 
Waiting  the  golden  dawn 
The  silent  woods  stood  wan, 
While  through  their  aisles  mov'd  on 

Her  funeral. 

Palely  their  torches  flare, 
While  rob'd  in  white  they  bear 
Her  corpse  that  was  most  fair 

Of  them  that  die, 
By  sleeping  forests  tall 
And  woods  funereal 
Through  the  decaying  fall 

Beneath  the  sky. 

The  orbed  moon  looks  down 
Upon  her  golden  crown, 
From  put  the  forest  brown 
The  wood-things  stare; 


The  holy  stars  behold 
Her  woven  hair  of  gold, 
And   slumbering  and   cold 
Her  bosom  bare. 

The  moon  shines  full  o'erhead, 
And  they  with  bowed  head 
About  her  body  dead 

In  silence  stand ; 
There  where  no  foot  hath  trod 
They  bury  her  with  sod 
Alone  with  only  God 

In  all  the  land. 

Tall  forests  stand  around 
About  her  grassy  mound 
And  over  all  the  ground 

Lie  shadows  hoar. 
She  'neath  the  passing  moon 
Sees  not  the  shadows  strewn 
Sunk  in  her  golden  swoon 



Now  that  the  earth  thy  buried  corpse  doth  hold, 
Now  that  thy  soul  that  hath  so  much  desired, 
Is  gone  down  to  the  places  of  the  tired, 
Far  from  the  dawning  and  the  star-light  cold ; 

Thine  eyes  shall  not  again  the  sun  behold ; 
Now  shall  thy  body  that  all  men  hath  fired 
Have  ceasing,  and  thy  grave  shall  be  admired, 
That  doth  the  fairest  thing  o'  the  earth  enfold. 

Now  that  thine  ashes  are  all  buried, 

And  thou  art  gone  to  slumber  with  the  blessed, 

Thy  buried  body  shall  be  no  more  distressed ; 

Being  now  number'd  with  the  placid  dead, 

Thine  eyes  forever  more  have  ceas'd  from  weeping, 

Forevermore  thy  spirit  shall  have  sleeping. 



Lo,  how  the  moon,  beloved, 
Far  in  the  heavens  gleaming, 
Over  the  ocean  dreaming 
Her  pallid  light  doth  throw; 

Lo,  where  the  endless  ocean, 
Where  softly  the  night  wind  bloweth, 
Into  the  darkness  floweth, 
Thither  at  last  I  go. 

Listen,  how  sweet  the  ocean 
Unto  our  spirits  sigheth, 
And  lo,  where  our  pinnace  lieth 
Awaiting,  with  sails  unfurl'd ; 

Come  thou  with  me,  beloved, 
Come  thou  with  heart  unquailing, 
There  where  no  ships  come  sailing, 
Out  of  the  dreary  world. 



Come  thou  with  me,  beloved, 
Out  of  the  world  and  its  seeming, 
Where  all  things  are  only  dreaming, 
And  shadows  all  we  know; 

The  heart  hath  not  found  its  longing 
Here,  nor  shall  find  it  ever ; 
Behold  of  my  life's  endeavour 
Remaineth  only  woe. 

Behold,  my  desire,  my  anguish, 
Trouble  and  toil  surpassing, 
Are  all  but  as  shadows  passing, 
Shadows  the  fame  thereof ; 

Here,  where  the  heart  attaineth 
Not,  what  the  heart  desireth, 
Where  beauty  too  early  tireth, 
And  kisses  mean  not  love. 

Here  where  what  man  hath  desired, 
He  shall  not  find  forever, 
But  ever  and  only  ever 
Unending  vanity ; 


Not  in  this  world,  beloved, 
My  only  longing  hideth, 
But  in  farther  lands  abideth 
And  over  a  wider  sea. 

There,  when  the  spring  shall  blossom, 
There,  when  the  winter  is  vanisht, 
My  spirit  that  long  was  banisht 
Shall  come  to  its  home,  though  late ; 

There  in  mine  olden  kingdom, 
Where  nothing  is  transitory, 
I  in  exceeding  glory 
Shall  hold  mine  ancient  state. 

Here  let  us  leave  our  anguish, 
Here  at  the  hour  of  leaving, 
Leave  we  our  woe  and  grieving 
Like  garments  long  outworn ; 

Leave  we  our  mortal  sorrow, 
Our  longing  and  our  repenting, 
The  anguish  and  the  lamenting 
That  made  our  hearts  to  mourn. 



Others  may  weep  and  anguish, 
Others  may  talk  of  laughter, 
And  ever  a  little  after 
Sorrow  is  theirs  the  more; 

But  we  two  have  done  with  laughter 
And  sadness  that  hath  no  reason, 
We  two  in  the  springtime  season 
Push  out  from  the  weary  shore. 

Past  are  the  storms  of  winter, 
Past  is  the  rainy  weather, 
Past  are  the  snows,  together 
With  sadness  and  sorrowing ; 

Past  are  the  rains,  beloved, 

Past  is  the  time  of  weeping, 

And  lo,  o'er  the  green  earth  sleeping, 

Laugheth  the  world-wide  Spring! 

Come  thou  with  me,  beloved, 
O  let  us  now  be  starting! 
All  things,  at  the  hour  of  parting, 
Shall  be  made  new  for  thee; 


Listen,  how  sweet  the  ocean 
Unto  our  spirits  calleth ; 
Softly  the  starlight  falleth 
Over  the  dreaming  sea. 

Fadeth  the  land,  beloved, 
That  long  hath  our  spirits  tired, 
Before  us  lies  that  desired 
Far  country,  strange  and  new ; 

Far  off  lies  that  dream'd-of  country 
Eternally  fair  and  blessed 
Eternally  undistressed, 
Far  over  the  ocean  blue. 

Knowst  thou  the  land,  beloved? 
Year-long  with  gentle  motion 
There  the  unending  ocean 
Batheth  the  tropic  shore  ; 

There  never  storms  blow  loudly, 
There  never  wet  rain  falleth. 
There  never  loud  wind  calleth, 
Nor  stormy  waters  roar. 



Fairer  the  stars  that  lighten 
There,  than  to  us  is  given, 
There  in  a  fairer  heaven 
Shineth  a  larger  moon ; 

Fair  stand  the  castles  golden 
There,  and  o'er  stranger  flowers 
There  through  the  long  long  hours 
The  wandering  breezes  swoon. 

There  in  that  land,  beloved, 
Is  never  a  sound  of  living, 
Never  is  heard  thanksgiving 
There,  nor  the  noise  of  moan ; 

There  naught  is  heard  of  sorrow, 
And  nothing  is  there  begotten  ; 
There,  with  all  life  forgotten, 
We  two  shall  come  alone. 

There,  O  my  one  beloved, 
Through  twilight  never-closing, 
We  two  shall  sit  reposing, 
Forever,  thou  with  me; 



There  'neath  the  stars  eternal, 
We  two  shall  sit,  we  only, 
While  from  the  heavens,  lonely, 
The  moon  sinks  in  the  sea. 

The  Book  of  Jade 


Lo,  in  the  night  I  cry  out,  in  the  night, 
God !  and  my  voice  shall  howl  into  the  sky ! 
I  am  weary  of  seeing  shapeless  things  that  fly, 
And  flap  into  my  face  in  their  vile  flight ; 

I  am  weary  of  dead  things  that  crowd  into  my  sight, 
I  am  weary  of  hearing  horrible  corpses  that  cry, 
God !     I  am  weary  of  that  lidless  Eye 
That  comes  and  stares  at  me,  O  God  of  light! 

All,  all  the  world  is  become  a  dead  blur, 

God !     God !   and   I,   stricken   with   hideous   blight, 

Crouch  in  the  black  corners,  and  I  dare  not  stir. 

I  am  aweary  of  my  evil  plight. 

If  thou  art  not  a  dead  corpse  in  thy  sky, 

Send  thou  down  Death  into  my  loathed  sty! 



Far  in  the  melancholy  hills  it  stands, 

Far  off ;  and  through  the  vista  of  the  years, 
Down  which  my  soul  its  helpless  journey  steers, 
It  flames  a  fire  to  lighten  all  the  lands, 
A  fire  that  burns  me  and  a  flame  that  brands 
Me,  whose  dead  days  pass  slow  as  heavy  tears. 

The  road  my  footsteps  tread  is  dim  and  still, 
There  darkness  abides  and  silence  endlessly, 
And  the  low  way  mine  eyes  can  scarcely  see; 
And  yet  the  light  and  sound  from  that  far  hill 
Like  the  sky's  fire  my  weary  pathway  fill, 
So  that  it  seems  a  place  of  life  to  be. 

The  world  is  but  a  background  for  it  there, 
There  where  it  stands,  loud  like  a  beaten  lyre, 
And  flames  blood-red  like  some  vast  funeral-pyre, 

Whereat  my  heart  to  fail  doth  not  forbear; 

Of  all  the  things  that  have  been  made  soe'er 
Only  the  House  remains,  a  quenchless  fire. 


Ah  God,  that  this  thing  were  not  in  the  world— 
The  hateful  House  that  flames  with  light  and  song 
And  weary  singing  all   the   ages   long; 
Ah  that  ev'n  this  might  in  the  dust  be  hurl'd, 
And  crush'd  and  slain,  even  as  my  heart,  where  curl'd 
The  kindly  armies  of  the  worm  do  throng. 

Yea,   surely   I   have   seen   it   long  ago, 
Far  sunken  in  the  weary  dust  of  time; 
Yea  surely  even  that  stair  so  hard  to  climb 

I  climb'd,  and  strode  its  hallways  to  and  fro; 

The  which  were  bright  with  many  lamps  aglow, 
And  loud  with  choristers  in  ceaseless  chime. 



Out  of  the  grave,  O  God,  I  call  to  thee, 
Be  thou  not  deaf  unto  my  dolorous  cry; 
My   soul  is   fallen   down  into  the   sty, 

And  the  dead  things  are  crawling  over  me; 

0  thou  my  God,  give  me  the  worm  to  flee, 
Out  from  the  pit's  depths  I  would  rise  on  high. 

Again  am  I  fallen  down  into  the  grave, 
My  soul   is   sunken  in  the  place  of  slime, 
I  am  too  weak  its  loathed  walls  to  climb, 

Thou,  only  thou,   O  God,  art  strong  to  save ; 

Lo,  in  mine  eyes  the  worms  have  made  their  cave, 
And   squatting  toads  oppress  me  all  the  time. 

Yea,  from  this  pit  I  have  crawl'd  out  before; 
With  groans  and  cries  and  many  a  dolorous  fall, 
I  have  climbed  up  its  impregnable  wall ; 

1  shall  not  rise  now  from  its  slimy  floor; 
O  God,  hear  thou  my  lamentable  call, 

Or  from  the  grave  I  come  not  evermore. 



I  am  become  a  housing  for  the  toad ; 

All  things  are  fled  wherein  I  took  delight; 
There  is  no  joy  here,  and  there  is  no  light; 

0  God,  O  God,  I  have  reap'd  what  I  sow'd ; 

1  am  become  a  dead  thing  in  the  night, 

And  in  my  heart  the  worms  have  their  abode. 

Lo,  from  my  body  all  my  might  is  fled, 
And  all  the  light  is  gone  out  of  mine  eyes ; 
Mine  ears  hear  only  lamentable  cries, 

And  eyeless  things  stand  round  about  my  head; 

I  am  made  as  a  man  that  slowly  dies; 
I  am  made  as  a  man  already  dead. 




Holy  Pestilence,  holy  Pestilence,  gird  thee  with  might, 
Holy  Pestilence,  come  thou  upon  them,  come  thou  at 


Holy  Pestilence,  put  on  thy  mantle,  put  on  thy  crown, 
Holy   Pestilence,   come  on  the   cities,   come  and   strike 

Holy  Pestilence,  let  them  all  perish,  touch'd  with  thy 


Holy  Pestilence,  let  them  grow  rotten,  moulding  in  death, 
Holy  Pestilence,  put  on  thy  garments,  a  crown  on  thy 


Holy  Pestilence,  let  all  the  nations  fall  at  thy  tread, 
Holy  Pestilence,  let  them  all  perish,  let  them  be  dead. 

Holy  Pestilence,  then  shall  the  cities  sink  with  thy  might, 
Holy  Pestilence,  they  shall  lie  desert,  plague-struck  at 

Holy  Pestilence,  then  shall  the  rulers,  crown'd  with  a 




Holy  Pestilence,  feeling  them  stricken,  reel  and  fall  down, 
Holy  Pestilence,  then  shall  the  nations  faint  with  thy 

Holy  Pestilence,  then  shall  the  valleys  be  cover'd  with 


Holy  Pestilence,  peasant  with  ruler,  body  with  head, 
Holy  Pestilence,  all  shall  be  stricken  under  thy  tread, 
Holy  Pestilence,  all  shall  be  rotten,  all  shall  be  dead. 



Thou  shall  rejoice  for  woe : 
The  pallid  goblet  old, 
That  holds  thy  life's  dull  wine, 
Is  made  thereby  divine; 
Stain'd  with  a  purpler  glow, 
And  wrought  in  stranger  gold. 


From  the  suck'd  lees  of  pain, 
We  have  won  joy  again: 
Death  shall  thee  not  distress: 
That  sleepy  bitterness 
To  thy  kist  lips  shall  be 
The  supreme  exstasy. 


Put  ashes  on  your  golden  body  bare, 
Puissant  as  musk,  bitter-sweet  as  to  die, 
Ashes  upon  your  arms  that  grow  not  old, 
And  on  your  unassuaged  lips  of  gold: 
So  we  will  wanton  in  love's  sepulchre, 
And  mock  the  face  of  Death  with  blasphemy. 




I  love  you  more  than  Death:  your  mournful  head, 
Your  shrouding  hair,  and  your  unfathom'd  eyes, 
And  your  white  body  beautiful,  alas, 
Priestess  and  victim  in  love's  holy  mass.  .  . 
Your  flesh  that  loves,  and  loving  ever  dies.  .  . 
I   could  not   love  you   more  if  you   were   dead. 


Death  is   death;  the  little  host  that   squirms, 
The  smell,  the  dark,  the  coffin  clos'd,  and  I 
So  soft,  so  soft ;  no  movement,  and  no  breath ; 
No  ears,  no  nose,  no  eyeballs;  Death  is  Death; 
The  sepulchre,  no  sight,  no  sound,  no  cry, 
And  always ;  Death  is  Death ;  the  worms !  the  worms 


Not  for  your  evil  is  my  spirit  sad — 

I  mourn  because  you  are  not  really  bad ; 

Because  your  beauty's  perfect  cruelty 

Is  ever  marr'd  with  pity  and  distress, 

And  you  still  show  within  your  wickedness 

The  poor  stale  weakness  of  humanity. 


I  am  as  one  that  thirsteth  for  all  things, 
As  one  that  holdeth  to  his  lips  the  cup, 



With  lower'd  eyes  searching  the  wine's  dull  flame. 
No  thing  may  I  refuse  among  all  things, 
Till,  having  drain'd  unto  its  dregs  the  cup, 
I  may  return  into  the  astral  flame. 


Heart,  we  have  wholly  drain'd  the  cup  of  sadness, 

And-  found  in  sadness  no  reality; 

Now  from  the  night  of  sadness  let  us  go. 

Henceforward  let  us  drain  the  cup  of  gladness, 

And  find  in  gladness  no  reality; 

From  sadness  then  and  gladness  let  us  go. 



Adorned  daggers,  ruby-hilted  swords; 
Huge  mortal  serpents  in  gold  volumes  roll'd ; 
All-holy  poisons  in  wrought  cups  of  gold ; 
Unfailing  crucifixes  of  strong  cords ; 

Mortal   baptismal    waters   without    fords, 
Wherein  lie  death's  communicants  untold — 
Which  of  these  instruments  blessed  and  old, 
Is  meetest  for   life's  purple-robed  lords? 

Ye  that  commune  in  death's  ciborium, 

Of  all  the  vessels  in  his  sacristy 

Which  will  ye  choose  to  make  of  you  a  clod — 

Sharp  swords,  bright  lightnings,  orient  opium? — 
All  these,  brave   souls,   are  of  one   sanctity; 
All  ways  are  good  whereby  ye  pass  to  God. 


It  is  not  that  I  have  not  sought  thy  face 
Ceaselessly  through  the  world's  eternal  lie, 
More  than  all  things  and  throughout  every  place, 
Which  having  seen  I  were  content  to  die. 

But  I  have  sought  thee  and  I  have  not  found ; 
Wherefore  my  soul  is  banish'd  from  delight, 
And  sitteth  joyless  as  a  madman  bound 
Seeing  vain  visions  in  the  loathed  night. 

I  know  not  even  that  I  do  not  know, 

But  all  things  waver  before  me  to  and  fro; 

As  one  half  head  that  would  be  dead  I  lie. 

And  thou,  Death,  if  thy  face  be  really  fair, 
I   know   not,   or  but   renewal   of  vanity; 
Wherefore  mine  eyes  have  seen  the  last  despair. 



Because  my  hope  is  dead,  my  heart  a  stone, 
I  read  the  words  that  Hegel  once  did  write — 
An  idiot  gibbering  in  the  dark  alone — 
Till  on  my  heart  and  vision  fell  the  night. 


A  dead  corpse   full  of  wormy  questionings, 
Beneath  the  open  sky  my  soul  lies  dead, 
Shameless   and   rotten    and   unburied, 
For  whom  eternity  no  difference  brings. 

Only  the  wind  my  loathed  incense  flings 
Afar  afar ;  only  above  my  head 
Day  passes,  night  returns  when  day  is  fled, 
Unchangeable  return  of  changeless  things. 

Unto  the  dead  all  things  bring  only  pain, 
And  evermore  my  perish'd  heart  is  woe 
For  the  vile  worms  that  gnaw  it  lying  low; 

While  the  dead  days,  like  to  an  endless  chain, 
Pass  ever  o'er  my  body  cruelly  slow, 
And  evermore  with  pain  return  again. 



My  heart  is  but  a  tomb,  where  vain  and  cold 
My  dead  hopes  lie:  encoffin'd  there  my  Pride 
Lies  dead,  and  my  Life's  Gladness  crucified, 
And  there  my  Morning  Joy  long  turn'd  to  mould ; 

And  there  like  once-lov'd  corpses  dead  and  old 
My  Victory  that  long  long  since  hath  died, 
And  all  my  Hopes  lie  shrouded  side  by  side, 
For  whom  no  eyes  have  wept,  no  dirges  toll'd. 

And  there  insensate  on  the  darken'd  floor 
Despair  a  maniac  still  doth  howl  and  scream, 
Among  all  these  long  dead  alive  alone; 

Among  these  things  I  sit  upon  a  throne, 

In  endless  contemplation  evermore; 

Nor  these  suffice  to  break  my  iron  dream. 



In  the  last  hopeless  depth  of  hell's  dark  tomb 
Wherein  I   sit  for  aye  with  bowed  head 
In  anguish  and  great   sorrow  buried 
Where  never  sun  the  blackness  doth  illume, 

I  saw  pass  by  me  through  the  bitter  gloom 
All  them  whom  life  with  deepest  grief  hath  fed, 
Whom  also  here  among  the  hopeless  dead 
Through  hell  pursueth  maniac,  gnashing  doom. 

Me  there  forever  crusht  to  hopeless  stone 

They  passt  by,  all  the  damn'd ;  they  shall  not  know 

Through  all  eternity  but  only  woe, 

Now  hear  no  sound  but  sound  of  them  that  groan. 

And  unto  me  that  sat  than  these  more  low, 
These  seem'd  like  happy  gods  that  heaven  own; 
They  past  away ;  and  there  in  hell  alone 
My  heart  took  up  again  its  ancient  woe. 



Dead  am  I,  and  ye  triumph  o'er  me  dead, 
Ye  that  within  mine  eyes  have  found  your  home, 
Ye  that  are  soft  and  blind  and  white  like  foam, 
Ye  that  have  made  of  me  your  meat  and  bread. 

Unto  the  worms  I  am  abandoned ; 
Over  my  flesh  their  loathed  cohorts  roam ; 
Upon  my  heart  whereto  their  hosts  have  clomb 
Their  hungry  lips  shall  evermore  be  fed. 

Here  am  I  but  a  dead  corpse  in  a  tomb ; 
I  shall  not  out  from  my  accurs'd  abode, 
Inhabited  by  the  dull  worm  and  the  toad; 

Ye  vile  sojourners  in  my  rotten  room, 
Torment   me   with   your   everlasting   goad ! 
I  scorn  you  till  the  end  shall  come  of  doom. 


The  loathed  worms  are  crawling  over  me 
All  the  dead  hours ;  about  my  buried  head 
Their  soft  intolerable  mouths  are  gathered, 

And  in  my  dead  eyes  that  have  ceas'd  to  see. 

I  am  full  of  worms  and  rotten  utterly, 

Dead,  dead,  dead,  dead,  dead,  dead,  dead,  dead,  dead, 

The  lifeless  earth  lies  close  against  mine  eyes; 

I  know  that  I  have  rotted  long  ago; 

My  limbs  are  made  one  with  the  worms  I  know 
Where  all  my  head  and  body  putrifies. 
So  in  the  earth  my  coffin'd  ordure  lies 

Within  my  loathed  shambles  strait  and  low. 

There  is  no  thing  now  where  my  face  hath  been, 

And  all  my  flesh  lies  soft  upon  the  floor ; 

Unto  my  heart  the  worms  have  found  a  door, 
And  all  my  body  is  to  the  worms  akin; 
They  long  time  since  their  feasting  did  begin, 

And  they  shall  part  not  from  me  evermore. 



Here  lie  I  stretch'd  out  through  the  rotting  years, 
And  I  am  surely  weary  of  the  grave, 
And  I  have  sometimes  thought  that  I  might  rave, 

And  my  two  perish'd  eyes  almost  shed  tears. 

There  is  no  one  that  sees  and  none  that  hears; 
I  shall  not  out  from  my  corrupted  cave. 

Here  now  forever  with  the  lustful  worms 
I   lie   within  my   putrid   sunken   sty, 
And  through  eternity  my  soul  shall  die. 

O  thou  toward  whom  all  my  dead  spirit  squirms ! 

Forevermore  I   love  thee  through  all   terms 
Until  the  dead  stars  rot  in  the  black  sky. 



Thou  art  at  last  made  perfect;  from  the  estate 
Of  mushy   life  Death  hath  thee  petrified. 
The  soft  the  flowing  and  the  putrified 
That  made  thee  up,  is  by  that  artist  great 

Now  crystalliz'd  unto  a  changeless  state. 

That  thing  thou  walkedst,  nos'd  and  ear'd  and  eyed, 

Eternally  severely  doth  abide, 

Sunk  from  the  bands  of  them  that  drank  and  ate. 

Green  mummies  walk  above  thy  walled  gloom, 

Unripen'd  mummies ;  they  intemperate 

Seek  in  life's  beauty  their  high-crowned  doom 

In  vain.     But  thee  no  passion  doth  illume 
Stiff   in   the   musked   darkness   of  the   tomb 
Hard  in  stiff  bands  of  red  and  nacarat. 



Lo,  all  the  world  as  some  vast  corpse  long  dead, 
Fadeth  and  perisheth  and  doth  decay, 
Even  as  a  corpse,  in  whose  unhonor'd  clay 
The  worms  have  long  the  inmost  secrets  read; 

Even  as  a  corpse,  upon  whose  lowly  head 
The  sun  beats,  and  the  holy  rain  doth  play; 
Even  as  a  corpse,  whereof  the  people  say, 
— We  would  that  these  dead  bones  were  buried. 

Even  so:  and  in  the  earth's  vast  sepulchre 

Our  fainting  souls  their  doubtful  footsteps  bear, 

Dreaming  of  that  which  no  dead  men  may  see; 

And  in  our  passage  to  the  second  death, 

We  whisper  strange  names  with  our  pesty  breath, 

Of  Love,  and  Honour,  and  great  Victory. 



A  dead  corpse  crowned  with  a  crown  of  gold 
Sits  thron'd  beneath  the  sky's  gigantic  pall ; 
Gold  garments  from  its  rotted  shoulders  fall, 
And  regal  purple  robes  funereal. 

Before  its  face  a  vast  processional 
Goes  by  with  offerings  for  its  great  knees  cold; 
Its  soft  hand  doth  a  golden  sceptre  hold; 
And  in  its  flesh  lie  sleeping  worms  uproll'd. 

They  that  pass  ceaseless  by  see  not  at  all ; 
They  know  not  that  beneath  its  garments'  fold 
Is  but  a  corpse,  rotted,  and  dead,  and  tall. 

He  is  accurst  that  sees  it  dead  and  old; 
He  is  accurst  that  sees :  the  white  worms  call 
For  him:  for  him  have  funeral  dirges  toll'd. 



They  do  not  know  that  they  are  wholly  dead, 
Nor  that  their  bodies  are  to  the  worm  given  o'er; 
They  pass  beneath  the  sky  f orevermore ; 
With  their  dead  flesh  the  earth  is  cumbered. 

Each  day  they  drink  of  wine  and  eat  of  bread, 
And  do  the  things  that  they  have  done  before; 
And  yet  their  hearts  are  rotten  to  the  core, 
And  from  their  eyes  the  light  of  life  is  fled. 

Surely  the  sun  is  weary  of  their  breath; 
They  have  no  ears,  and  they  are  dumb  and  blind ; 
Long  time  their  bodies  hunger  for  the  grave. 

How  long,  O  God,  shall  these  dead  corpses  rave  ? 
When  shall  the  earth  be  clean  of  humankind? 
When  shall  the  sky  cease  to  behold  this  death? 


O  endless  idiocy  of  humankind! 

O  blatant  dead  that  howl  and  scream  and  roar! 

O  strange  dead  things  the  worms  have  gambled  for! 

O  dull  and  senseless,  foolish,  mad  and  blind! 

How  long  now  shall  your  scent  defile  the  wind? 
How  long  shall  you  make  vile  the  earth's  wide  floor? 
How  long,  how  long,  O  waiting  ages  hoar, 
Shall  the  white  dawn  their  gaping  faces  find? 

O  vile  and  simple,  blind  of  heart  and  mind, 
When  shall  your  last  wave  roll  forevermore 
Back  from  the  sick  and  long-defiled  shore? 

When  shall  the  grave  the  last  dead  carcass  bind? 
O  shameless  humankind!  O  dead!  O  dead! 
When  shall  your  rottenness  be  buried? 



I  saw  a  dead  corpse  lying  in  a  tomb, 
Long  buried  and  rotten  to  the  core; 
Behold  this  corpse  shall  know  not  evermore 
Aught  that  may  be  outside  its  wormy  room; 

It  lies  uncover'd  in  the  pesty  gloom, 
Eyeless  and  earless,  on  the  charnel-floor, 
While  in  its  nameless  corpse  the  wormlets  hoar 
Make  in  its  suppurated  brain  their  room. 

And  in  that  charnel  that  no  lights  illume, 

It  shriek'd  of  things  that  lay  outside  its  door; 

And  while  the  still  worms  through  its  soft  heart  bore, 

It  lay  and  reason'd  of  the  ways  of  doom, 

And  in  its  head  thoughts  mov'd  as  in  a  womb; 

And  in  its  heart  the  worms  lie  evermore. 



I  saw  a  dead  corpse  in  a  haughty  car, 
Whom  in  a  high  tomb  phantom  horses  bore, 
Aye  to  and  fro  upon  the  scatter'd  floor; 
His  dead  eyes  star'd  as  though  they  look'd  afar, 

His  gold  wheels  myriad  perish'd  souls  did  mar, 
While   through   his   flesh   the   ravenous   wormlets   tore ; 
He  in  whose  eyes  the  worm  was  conqueror, 
Held  his  high  head  unmoved  like  a  star. 

And  as  with  loud  sound  and  reverberant  jar, 
And  as  with  splash  of  crusht  flesh  and  dull  roar, 
The  death-car  thunder'd  past  the  tomb-walls  hoar, 

Within  those  dead  dominions  the  dead  tsar 
Receiv'd  his  plaudits  where  dead  bodies  are ; 
And  in  his  heart  the  worms  lie  evermore. 


I  saw  a  dead  corpse  making  a  strange  cry, 
With  dead  feet  planted  on  a  high  tomb's  floor; 
The  dead  stand  round,  with  faces  that  implore; 
His  dead  hands  bless  them,  stretched  forth  on  high. 



— And  art  them  God? — and  art  them  majesty?— 
And  art  thou  he  whom  all  the  dead  adore?— 
And  art  thou  he  that  hath  the  skies  in  store?— 
Nay,  nay,  dead  dust,  dead  dust,  and  vanity. 

And  wouldst  thou  rise  up  to  the  lighted  sky? — 
Nay,  nay,  thy  limbs  are  rotten  on  the  floor; 
Thou  shalt  not  out  from  thy  polluted  sty; 

Thou  wouldst  become  divinity  once  more, 

Thou  dreamest  of  splendour  that  shall  never  die; 

And  in  thy  heart  the  worms  lie  evermore. 


I  saw  a  dead  corpse  lying  on  the  floor 
Of  a  tomb;  worms  were  in  its  woman's  head, 
Its  black  flesh  lay  about  it  shred  on  shred, 
And  the  dead  things  slept  in  its  bosom  hoar. 

And   evermore   inside   that   loathed   door, 
It  turn'd  itself  as  one  upon  a  bed, 
It  turn'd  itself  as  one  whom  sleep  hath  fled, 
As  one  that  the  sweet  pangs  of  passion  bore. 



And  from  its  passionate  mouth's  corrupted  sore, 
And  from  its  lips  that  are  no  longer  red, 
Came  forth  love's  accents ;  and  it  spake,  and  said. 

— The  Pleiades  and  night's  noon-hours  are  o'er, 
And  I  am  left  alone  in  wearyhead. 
And  in  its  heart  the  worms  lie  evermore. 




1st    Corpse.     I  would  now  that  the  sweet  light  of  the 

Might  once  again  shine  down  upon  my 


So  weary  am  I  of  my  rottenness. 
2nd  Corpse.     Rejoice  that  now  at  least  thou  art  done 

with  life; 

This  thing  shall  nevermore  return. 
ist   Corpse.  At  last 

My  body  is  aweary  of  the  tomb; 
It  is  a  hundred  years  since  in  the  grave 
I   have   lain  down   between   four   narrow 

Shut   up   with   putrid    darkness    and   the 


There  is  no  flesh  upon  my  body  now, 
That  was  so  long  a-rotting;  on  my  shelf 
Here  am  I  now  nothing  but  stinking  bones, 
That  have  had  life  beneath  the  face  of  the 



3rd  Corpse.     /  am  not  yet  utterly  putrified, 

And  the  worms  yet  within  my  flesh  abound ; 

I  do  repent  me  that  I  did  not  learn 

What  life  was,  while  I  liv'd  beneath  the 
sun — 

At  least  then  I  might  think  of  what   I  had 

But  I  am  rotten,  and  I  have  not  liv'd. 
ist  Corpse.     I  would  that  I  might  leave  this  place  of 

And  look  once  more  upon  the  face  of  the 

Where  the  sun  is. 
2nd  Corpse.  O  foolish  ragged-bones, 

Wouldst  thou  show  forth  thy  dripping  ex 

And   shredded   rottenness  to  the   face  of 
day? — 

Stink  and  be  still,  and  leave  us  here  in 


ist  Corpse.     Envy  me  not,  O  stench,  slop-face,  dung- 

My  bones  are  clean  and  dry  as  the  tomb's 

And  stink  not ;  as  for  thee,  thou  art  a  sink. 


2nd  Corpse.     Envy  me  not,  thou,  that  I  am  so  sweet 

The  black  worms  love  me;  hungry  were 

that  worm 
That  on  thee  preys. 

4th  Corpse.     Be  silent,  both  ye  dead  and  rotten  things ; 
Lo  I,  that  was  unburied  yesterday, 
Am  fair  and  smooth  and  firm,  and  almost 

sweet  ; 

If  that  I  were  not  dead,  one  might  me  love. 
3rd  Corpse.     Is  it  so  sweet  a  thing,  this  love,  this  love? 
2nd  Corpse.     Thy  lips  are  green  for  kissing,  and  streaks 

of  black 
Streak  over  thee  where  the  worms  have 

not  yet  been ! 

4th  Corpse.     Ha,  ha,  I  know  wherefore  thou  speakest  so : 
Because  thy  torture  is  too  great  for  thee, 
And  the  worms'  gnawing,  and  thy  body's 

And  the  rottenness  in  thy  bones  and  in  thy 

brain ! 
ist  Corpse.     O  beautiful,  O  dead,  O  spit  upon, 

He  speaketh  well  that  is  but  lately  dead; 
Thy  flesh  lies  all  along  thee    like    green 


O  pudding  gravied   in   thine    own    dead 
sauce ! 



2nd  Corpse.     Rotten  one ! 
ist  Corpse.  Dung-heap! 

2nd  Corpse.  Dead  one ! 

ist  Corpse.  Beast!  beast!  beast! 

Therefore  perhaps,  thou  art  so  early  dead  ? 
2nd  Corpse.     They  say  that  those  thou  lovedst  were  not 

0  goat-face —     Shall  I  say  what  was  thy 

death  ? 

4th  Corpse.     Come,  come,  my  brothers,  be  not  so  slan 
derous  ; 

We  have  all  been  the  same  upon  the  earth. 
3rd  Corpse.     Thou  sayest  true,  new  brother, 
ist    Corpse.  Thou  sayest  true. 

2nd  Corpse.     I  shall  not  suffer  anything  any  more; 
(Aside.)     I  have  left  all  that;   I  am  evermore  re- 
leas'd ; 

1  shall  not  struggle  and  suffer  any  more; 
This  seemeth  strange  and  very  sweet  to 


And  I  shall  grow  accustom'd  to  the  worms. 
5th  Corpse.     Rejoice  not  thou,  that  thou  art  fallen 

Into  a  pit  where  people  leave  their  dung ; 
There  is  no  reason  here  for  any  joy. 



Sepulchre.        Be  silent,  now,  ye  spindle-shanked  dead! 
Ye  will  learn  to  be  silent  when  y'are  here 
For  a  long  time ;  ye  always  spout  and  roar, 
At  first,  before  the  time  of  rottenness; 
But  so  I  suppose  it  must  be, — y'are  not  the 

And  ye  shall  not  be  the  last;  so  fast  i'  the 

So   eagerly   they   are   begotten,   and   they 

And  they  are  begotten  again;  just  for  this 


Hideously  propagated  evermore. 
A  Voice  above 

singing.      Golden  is  the  sunlight, 

When  the  daylight  closes, 
Golden  blow  the  roses 
Ere  the  spring  is  old ; 
All  thy  hair  is  golden, 
Falling  long  and  lowly 
Round  thy  bosom  holy ; 
And  thy  heart  is  of  fine  gold! 



And  since  i  understood  not  what  so  strong 
Driveth  all  these  at  such  exstatic  pace, 
I  too  went  down  and  joined  in  the  throng; 

And  many  sitting  in  a  lowly  place 

I   saw,  where  sense  and  vision  darkness  clogs, 
With  one  flat-breasted  wife  with  munched  face 

And  bestial  litter  as  of  rats  or  hogs; 
These  are  all  they  that  eat  and  multiply 
In  the  same  manner  with  low  apes  and  dogs ; 

Like  these  they  live  and  like  these  they  shall  die. 
— Pass  thou  from  these,  said  then  to  me  that  voice, 
And  heed  not  thou  the  stinking  of  that  sty. 

Then  saw  I  them  that  did  with  wine  rejoice, 
Crowning  their  heads  with  roses  of  the  earth ; 
I  too  sat  down  and  joined  in  that  noise, 

But  ask'd  me  soon — Why  do  all  these  have  mirth? 
From  these  I  past,  weary  of  myrrh  and  wine. 
Others  apart  whose  spirits  had  more  dearth 

Sat  solitary  as  who  would  fain  divine, 


Of  seeing  and  of  hearing  ill  content; 

With  these  I  sat,  half  drunken  with  the  vine, 

And  sick  of  visions  that  aye  came  and  went ; 
But  all  the  knowledge  that  their  striving  found 
Was  but  one  vision  more  than  wine  had  sent ; 

All  these  also  shall  moulder  in  the  ground. 
From  these  I  past  as  from  dead  flesh  and  bones. 
Then  came  I  where  the  kings  of  earth  sat  crown'd 

Neath  purple  canopies  on  golden  thrones ; 
These  offer'd  me  part  in  that  changeless  state, 
Until  my  soul  wearied  of  brass  and  bronze. 

Others  whose  sweating  nothing  could  abate 
Kingdoms  and  cities  build  and  overthrow, 
Till  my  soul  wonder'd  at  the  striving  great 

Of  all  the  puppets  in  that  puppet-show : 

— Doth  the  string  move  them  with  such  urgency, 
That  all  their  limbs  such  strange  grimaces  show  ? 

—These  are  all  they  that  do,  one  made  reply ; 
In  all  their  actions  never  could  I  find 
What  they  were  doing  these  things  for  nor  why. 

From  these  I  past  as  from  the  deaf  and  blind, 
And  ever  as  I  went  the  solemn  brawl 
Of  all  these  mad  and  idiot  howl'd  behind. 

I  came  to  those  that  ceased  not  to  call 

The  world  unto  them,  shouting  o'er  and  o'er; 


My  heart  knew  not  why  these  so  loudly  bawl ; 

And  some  stood  round  with  faces  that  implore, 
Asking  for  peace ;  and  ever  those  that  gave 
Did  but  like  these  delude  themselves  the  more ; 

But  rottenness  shall  stop  all  these  that  rave. 
Last,  some  there  were  that  did  with  vanity 
Toil  ever  with  unwearied  hands  to  save 

And  to  eternize  all  things  great  and  high ; 

With  these  I  stay'd,  till  my  heart  questioned : 
— What  are  the  things  thou  doest  here  and  why? 

Whereat  all  these  became  as  persons  dead. 
Then  I  arose  from  among  these  the  last, 
And  followed  then  where'er  my  footsteps  led; 

And  among  them  that  reigned  then  I  past, 
And  among  them  that  ever  fain  would  know, 
And  among  them  whose  lot  with  wine  was  cast; 

I  past  the  prophets  and  the  puppet-show, 

And  among  them  that  joy'd  in  marble  and  in  song, 
And  all  that  Seven  tir'd  of  long  ago. 

And  is  this  all  the  meaning  of  that  throng, 
This  all,  O  heart,  that  wast  of  seeing  fain, 
But  like  a  circle  that  still  seemeth  long 

Because  it  goeth  round  and  round  again? 
Not  in  all  these  doth  any  reason  hide 
No  more  than  in  the  words  of  the  insane, 


There  is  no  ground  for  sorrow ;  nor  in  pride 

For  pride ;  nor  in  them  that  in  gladness  sate ; 

Wherefore  with  none  of  these  shall  I  abide. 
The  sought  is  vanity ;  the  seeking  great 

Vanity;  the  not-seeking  vanity; 

For  none  of  these  change  I  my  solemn  state. 


Then  since  no  one  could  answer  unto  me 
The  question,  and  since  no  one  could  me  tell 
The  wherefore  of  this  endless  Vanity 

Of  all  the  spirits  that  on  earth  did  dwell, 
I  said — I  go  unto  the  Absolute; 
He  will  perchance  release  me  from  this  hell. 

Him  that  made  noisy  what  before  was  mute 
I  found  upon  a  heap  of  filthy  dung 
Low-sitting  in  the  fashion  of  the  brute. 

In  strange  grimaces  still  his  face  he  wrung, 
Up  to  the  chin  within  that  filth  immerst, 
Which  still  his  busy  hands  about  him  flung. 

— Do  thou  those  clothes  wherein  he  is  inhearst 
Take  off,  said  I  to  one,  and  do  not  shirk. 
He  did,  while  still  that  being  howl'd  and  curst. 


For  there  so  thick  and  muddy  was  the  murk, 
And  he  still  bore  of  clothes  so  thick  a  weight, 
I  knew  not  well  what  thing  therein  did  lurk. 

Three  coverings  then  that  one  removed  straight — 
Omniscience,  Omnipresence,  Omnipotence, 
From  off  the  thing  that  in  the  ordure  sate. 

Then  did  his  truth  show  clear  to  every  sense, 
A  filthy  idiot  so .  foul  and  low, 
That  decency  the  perfect  tale  prevents. 

And  I — O  thou  whose  nakedness  doth  show 
Like  one  not  in  the  womb  to  fulness  brought, 
Why  are  all  things  that  are;  if  thou  dost  know? 

Then  he  replied  from  out  the  ordure  hot : 
— Brahma,  great  Brahma,  Everlasting,  I ! 
And  I — Not  such  reply  my  question  sought. 

Answer  thou  me !     And  he  still  made  reply : 

— Brahma,  great  Brahma!  repetition  vain. 
I  asked  again :  and — Brahma !  he  did  cry. 

Then  one  thereby  to  me — Why  art  thou  fain 
Knowledge  to  have  from  It  ?     It  knows  not,  It ; 
Why  seek  for  truth  among  the  low  insane? 

Then  he  that  did  within  the  ordure  sit 
Out  of  the  filth  that  lay  about  his  feet 
Such  things  as  children  make  with  little  wit 

Made,  and  then  broke,  and  did  the  act  repeat. 



— I  have  made  all  the  worlds,  he  gibbered ; 

And  I  his  labour  with  these  words  did  greet. 
— Why  dost  thou  these  things?  why,  O  why?  I  said. 

No  word  vouchsaf'd  the  mouth  of  him  that^tank, 

But  giggling  sounds  and  idiot  uttered. 
Then  seated  in  that  place  of  ordure  rank, 

With  his  two  lips  he  made  a  cackling  sound, 

And  back  within   the   friendly   ordure   sank. 
Then  I  with  a  great  sad  and  awful  voice 

Cried  out — O  thou  that  rottest  in  this  sty, 

O  thou  whose  soul  in  ordure  doth  rejoice, 
What  art  thou  doing  these  things  for  and  why? 

Then  one  to  me — His  bliss  is  not  to  know 

The  infiniteness  of  his  own  Vanity; 
Therefore  the  soul  of  him  that  stinketh  so, 

Because  his  sense  is  blind  and  deaf  and  mad 

Forever,  knoweth  not  eternal  woe. 
Lo  from  the  first  his  soul  no  reason  had ; 

He  thinketh  he  himself  is  everything, 

And  nothing  is  but  him !     He  is  not  sad. 
Ignorance,  ignorance,  shrouds  him  like  a  pall; 

Therefore  thus  low  upon  the  fetid  floor 

He  sits,  and  knoweth  naught  outside  his  stall. 
And  I — He  maketh  naught  outside  his  store. 

Why  doth  he  this  ?  and  in  this  fetid  tomb 


Sitteth  he  here  in  madness  evermore? 
How  long  shall  iron,  awful,  gnashing  doom 

Leave  him  thus  naked  old  and  idiot 

Blind  deaf  and  stinking,  in  the  loathed  gloom? 
How  long  shall  This  within  the  ordure  squat? 

How  long  shall  This  cease  not  to  beck  and  nod? 

How  long  shall  This  cease  not  to  rot  and  rot  ? 
And  he — This  rottenness  that  seemeth  God 

More  woe  than  this  nor  any  other  mode 

Shall  know  not,  till  It  ceaseth  in  the  sod. 
And  as  a  gnat,  a  viper,  or  a  toad, 

Because  its  nature  is  not  infinite, 

It  too  shall  perish  in  the  worm's  abode; 
Till  then  It  suppurateth  in  the  night. 


Then  from  the  world  I  turn'd  my  steps  afar; 

I  came  there  where  the  holy  Trinity 

And  all  the  blessed  saints  in  glory  are, 
And  did  the  beatific  vision  see, 

And  how  those  happy  are  that  once  did  mourn ; 

But  my  heart  said — All  this  is  naught  to  me; 
Nor  knew  I  why  all  these  should  be  reborn. 


Where  moon-fac'd  houris  wanton  arms  do  fling 

Round  Mahmud's  blessed,  I  past  by  in  scorn, 
For  my  heart  dream'd  a  deeper  revelling. 

Then  came  I  to  that  banquet  more  divine 

That  Jayadeva  and  that  Jami  sing ; 
And  the  fair  goblet  fill'd  full  of  the  wine 

Brought  the  cup-bearer  clad  with  wantonness ; 

And  there  with  the  beloved  and  the  vine 
My  heart  grew  weary  of  that  blessedness. 

From  life  I  past,  finding  no  joy  therein. 

The  vision  and  the  vine  and  drunkenness 
Still  like  a  circle  ever  closing  in. 

Then  I  departed  to  the  final  peace, 

Sick  of  what  is  and  shall  be  and  hath  been, 
Of  Brahma,  as  the  drop  sinks  in  the  seas : 

I  past  out  from  the  bonds  of  thee-and-me, 

Lost  in  that  Infinite  whose  being  is 
Glory  in  all  things  and  reality ; 

But  therein  I  that  was  not  I,  alas 

In  that  deliverance  from  me-and-thee 
Where  all  illusion  fadeth  like  to  grass, 

Found  naught  that  equall'd  my  undimm'd  desire; 

— If  that  reality  then  real  was, 
What  is  that  real  more  than  trodden  mire  ? 

Then  from  all  being  did  my  spirit  pass, 


Sick  of  all  being  whether  low  or  higher. 

Out  of  that  circle  unto  nothingness 
I  came,  unto  Nirvana,  the  far  goal 
Of  many  a  holy  saint,  where  visions  cease ; 

But  nothingness  did  not  my  heart  console. 
Ah  not  in  nothingness  is  any  peace, 
Nor  in  peace  any  peace,  nor  in  the  whole, 

Nor  in  the  vine  nor  in  the  vision,  nor 
In  being  nor  non-being,  nor  in  all 
That  man  hath  dream'd  of  and  hath  anguisht  for. 

Nay  not  in  joy  nor  the  vine  jovial, 

Nor  in  the  perfume  of  the  lov'd  one's  breath, 
Nay  nor  in  anything  anywhere  at  all  ; 

Nor  in  illusion;  nor  what  sundereth 
Illusion;  in  the  sundering  of  that  chain 
There  is  no  joy;  and  not  alas  in  death 

Find  I  that  thing  whereof  my  soul  is  fain. 
All  these  things  also  are  all  vanity 
No  less  than  sun  and  stars  that  wax  and  wane 

Forever  in  the  everlasting  sky. 



Now  I  am  come  to  the  nadir  at  last,  to  the  absolute 


Now  all  the  stars  are  gone  out  of  my  sky; 
Night  everlasting  is  mine  without  hope  or  desire  of  the 


All  my  life's  hopes  are  gone  tombwards  to  die. 
All  my  life's  glories  lie  perisht  around  me;  and  lo  with 

great  laughing 

Laugh  I  out  loud,  and  I  care  not  at  all ; 
Here  with    mine  Anguish,    my  Sorrow,    my  Madness, 

my  Grief,  I  sit  quaffing 
Wine,  in  high  state  in  my  echoing  hall. 
This  is  the  last  night  I  drink  with  you,  maniac  wassailers 

dreary ! 

Lift  up  your  goblets  and  drink  ere  I  go! 
Lo,  I  am  easily  bor'd,  I  am  easily  tired  and  made  weary ; 



Now  at  the  last  I  am  weary  of  Woe. 
Lo,  I  that  walk  in  the  flower  crown'd  season  of  youth- 
fulness  golden, 

Think  ye  that  all  things  my  gladness  can  slay  ? 
Sorrow  is  fitting  for  dotards  and  them  that  are  loath 
some  and  olden; 
7  am  as  one  that  goes  ever  away. 

Lo,  I  laugh  out  at  Grief,  lo,  I  laugh  in  unending  rejoic 

I  that  have  nightshade  entwin'd  in  my  hair; 
Heart  of  me,  what  dost  thou  here  in  the  wearisome  dark 
ness,  revoicing 

Yesterday's  stale  and  forgotten  despair? 
Now  it  is  midnight;  but  soon  shall  the  wakening  glory 

of  morning 

Shine  in  the  East,  when  the  darkness  is  gone ; 
Now  in  my  spirit  that  sat  for  a  time  in  the  darkness  of 


Waketh  in  gladness  the  mystical  dawn. 
New  spring  laugheth  without — to  thy  heart  it  is  call 
ing!  and  o'er  thee 

Soon  shall  the  banners  of  dawn  be  unfurl'd ; 
Wait  thou  no  longer,  O  heart,  O  heart  that  art  strong, 

for  before  thee 

Lieth  the  pomp  of  the  great  high  world ! 



Now  it  is  midnight;  my  Anguish,  my  Mourning,  my 

Sadness,  my  Sorrow, 

Crown  you  with  nightshade,  and  once  more  with  me 
Drink  and  make  merry ;  farewell !  I  am  here  with  you 

now;  on  the  morrow 
Sail   I  over  the  mighty  sea. 




Now  at  the  last,  Zulaikha,  all  my  sorrows  olden 
Are  farther  off  than  Europe  or  than  China  seem, 
And  like  an  idle  dream 

The  North  is  faded  far  off  in  the  distance  golden; 
And  here  with  thee  I  sit  in  perfect  peace  enfolden 
Beside  the  Ganges-stream. 

Full  well  I  knew  that  ne'er  those  northern  promontories 
Could  give  to  me  the  dream  that  did  my  soul  desire; 
For  there  my  heart  did  tire; 

For  always  me  allur'd  the  strangely  whisper'd  stories 
Of  skies  that  burn  with  more  consuming  languid  glories, 
And  suns  of  mightier  fire. 

I  dream'd  of  heavier  suns  than  burn  in  skies  of  ours, 
And  heavier  airs  that  through  the  long  long  evening 


Under  a  larger  moon, 

And  heavier-scented  gardens  fill'd  with  stranger  flowers, 
And  tropic  palms  that  wave  through  all  the  long  long 

Of  endless  afternoon. 



At  last  now  from  that  northern  dream  arn  I  awoken, 
At  last  I  am  come  home  over  the  watery  main ; 
Long  long  I  sigh'd  in  vain; 

Now  under  tropic  palms  I  lie  in  peace  unbroken, 
And  mine  own  land  I  see,  beloved,  and  hear  spoken 
My  natal  tongue  again. 

Zulaikha,  past  is  all  the  longing  and  endeavour ; 

The  palm-trees  sleep,  and  sleeping  move  not  any  leaf ; 

Perisht  is  woe  and  grief; 

Stilly  the  padmas  float  upon  the  holy  river; 

Among  all  these  we  two  with  languid  eyes   forever 

Lie  sunk  in  endless  kief. 

Before  us  riseth  white  our  marble-builded  palace; 
Thou  hast  let  fall  from  out  thy  hands  that  weary  are 
The  volume  of  Attar. 

Thy  hand  hath  spill'd  the  wine  within  the  silver  chalice ; 
Upon  the  river  winding  through  the  distant  valleys 
Sleepeth  the  nenufar. 

From  out  the  oleanders  languid  slumber  steepeth, 
And  thou,  Zulaihka,  dost,  in  rest  too  deep  for  dream, 
Like  one  enchanted  seem ; 

Thy  beauty  now  in  waking  slumber  sunken  sleepeth, 



And  dreaming  past  thy  wholly  closed  eyelids  creepeth 
The  sleepy-flowing  stream. 

Thou  hast  the  light  of  Asia  in  thy  face  divinest, 

And  in  thy  scented  mouth  and  in  thy  lotus-eyes, 

O  wine  of  Paradise ! 

O  moon-fac'd  love  that  by  the  sacred  stream  reclinest, 

Hath  this  world  anything  for  which  in  vain  thou  pinest? 

That  thing  shall  be  thy  prize. 

The  caravans  that  in  the  desert,  heavy-laden, 

By  unknown  oases  pitch  their  sun-blacken'd  tents, 

Shall  bring  thee  all  sweet  scents 

Wherein  delight  in  heaven  the  houris  ever-maiden — 

Patchouli,  nard,  and  myrrh,  from  many  a  distant  aden 

Of  heavenly  indolence. 

All  kinds  of  gems  wherefore  thine  almond  eyes  have 

In  heaps,  wherein  to  bathe  thy  beauties  languorous, 

O  maiden  amorous, 

They  shall  bring  home  to  thee  from  distant  isles  return 

Pearl,  sapphire,  diamond,  topaz,  and  ruby  burning, 

And  opal  luminous. 



Thou  art  that  sweet  whereof  all  poets  dead  have  chaunted, 
Therefore  my  soul  hath  sought  thy  face  o'er  pathless  seas, 
Here  to  have  endless  peace; 

Thou  art  the  garden  of  delight  with  slumber  haunted, 
Thy  perfume  maketh  dream  of  desert  lands  enchaunted, 
And  far-off  oases. 

Thou  hast  that  beauty   in  thine  all-consuming  glances 

That  openeth  the  ways  to  far  enchanted  skies, 

And  in  thy  lotus-eyes 

Thou   hast  the   light   that   shineth   in  the   countenances 

Of  them  whose  eyes  have  seen  the  glory  which  entrances 

The  blest  of  Paradise. 

Thou  art  all  sweets  that  unto  perfect  joy  devote  us, 

In  thee  all  spices  and  all  scents  together  come, 

O  lute  that  now  art  dumb ! 

Thou  art  musk,  frankincense,  amomum,  stephanotis, 

Thou  art  the  fragrant  wine,  the  paradisal  lotus, 

Thou  art  the  opium. 

Hashsheesh  nor  opium  are  worth  not  thy  caresses, 
Sweeter  than  opium  to  still  the  spirit's  drouth 
Thine  unassuaged  mouth  ; 

Him  that  hath  known  thy  love  no  mortal  grief  distresses ; 



Sweeter  thy  kisses  are  than  incense  which  oppresses 
The  breezes  of  the  South.  .  . 

At  last  I  am  come  home,  come  home;  and  all  regretting 

Is  with  the  North  afar  from  thee  and  me  away. 

Behold  O  love,  the  day 

Is  past,  in  Indian  skies  the  holy  sun  is  setting; 

The  muzin  from  his  tower  calleth  unforgetting, 

The  faithful  ones  to  pray. 

Under  the  velvet  night  wide  India  reposes 

Now  in  the  scented  dark  the  champak  odours  swoon; 

Slowly  the  summer  moon 

Riseth  into  the  azure  night  made  drunk  with  roses; 

And  lo  the  camel-bells,  now  that  the  daylight  closes, 

Tinkle  their  quiet  tune. 

Behold,  O  well-beloved,  'neath  the  moonlight  gleaming 

The  travellers  depart  from  out  the  sleeping  khan, 

O  perfume  Asian ! 

And  past  the  moonkt  palace,  where  we  two  lie  dreaming, 

With  camels  and  with  horsemen  like  to  shadows  seeming 

Departs  the  caravan. 



It  is  the  starting  hour,  O  most  melancholy ! 

In  long  procession  underneath  the  moon's  pale  gleams, 

Like  something  that  but  seems, 

The  caravan  departeth  to  the  desert  slowly, 

There  far  afar  to  seek  through  endless  time  the  holy 

Mirages  of  their  dreams. 



These  paltry  rhymes,  which  loftier  shall  pursue 
Than  aught  America  of  high  or  great 
Hath  seen  since  first  began  her  world-wide  state, 
I  dedicate,  my  brother,  unto  you. 



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